Ep 10, Pt II – Casual Gourmet

It’s Saturday morning–the day of the
dinner party. And we’re gonna start by de-stemming and coarsely chopping the kale. Now, I’m going to coarsely chop
two bunches of spinach. All right, now I’m going to
mince five cloves of garlic. Now I’m going to chop five
onions–green onions. Chopped parsley for the escargot. I’m going to now smash
some garlic down for the escargot. And we’re gonna
mash it down into a paste. I’ve warmed to room temperature
a cup and a half of butter and I’m going to put that in the mixing bowl, along with the garlic
that we just mashed, and shallots and parsley. Okay, I’m gonna cover this and chill it,
until we’re ready to make the escargot. I’m turning now to the duck and we’re
going to slice some criss-crosses into the skin, and try not to get into the meat. The polenta has been in
the refrigerator all night, And now I’m going to cut it up into rectangles. All right. I’ve roasted the almonds.
Now I’m going to crush them. Salad dressing. To the refrigerator. I’m going to make the maple
Chantilly now for the mousse. Maple Chantilly. Mmm. Our dinner party was a roaring success– with minimal damage to the guests and premises. Marilyn set an elegant table with a
lovely centerpiece from the garden, even though we were casually
dressed and dining out back. The Escargots à la Bourguignonne
bathed in butter was so good that we consumed almost all the
baguettes sopping its juices. Between iced lemon water, chilled white wines, and Pinot Noir, we had plenty to wash down the feast. Our first course, shaved summer squash salad,
presented a melange of textures and flavors, with two types of squash, baby arugula, crushed roasted almonds, cheese, and garlic. The entrée, pan-roasted duck
breast with truffled polenta and lingonberry sauce, paired with
sautéed mixed greens, was a delight. The green onions and garlic injected a perfect
flavor undertone to the crunchy kale and tender spinach. And the star of this dish was
sublime. The buttery reduction of red wine, chicken and beef broth, and
lingonberries made for a velvety glaze over mouthfuls of crisp-skinned
duck breast and truffled polenta. As usual, I had overestimated my serving
portions; we needed a bit of a break to kick back, enjoy after-dinner aperitifs [digestifs], and let our meals digest before tucking into dessert. I’m glad we delayed so that we could savor our dessert. The cognac-chocolate mousse was
smooth, fluffy, chocolaty, and perfect against the acidity of our coffee. And the Chantilly added a grace note of creamy maple wonder. The offering of spirits was
exceptional–and surprising. The bottle on the right is small-batch
Knob Creek, an all-time favorite of mine. And a guest regaled us with that
beautiful blue bottle in the middle, which is a premium Hakutsuru sake. And the bottle on the left? That’s
Heaven’s Door–brought to us courtesy of Bob Dylan. Yeah, the music pioneer and legend. Mind blown. Excellent bourbon, by the way. you

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